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C-SPAN2 Weekend

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America 18, Haiti 13, Us 11, U.s. 5, Mr. Robinson 4, Aristide 4, Randall Robinson 4, Bridget 3, Diane 3, United States 3, Brooklyn 3, Africa 3, Un 3, Frederick Douglass 2, Danny 2, Alfred 2, George Bush 2, Jamaica 2, Portugal 2, Chicago 2,
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  CSPAN    C-SPAN2 Weekend    News/Business. News.  

    August 10, 2013
    7:00 - 8:01am EDT  

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what are you reading? >> let me say this about c-span first of all. i said to brian lamb many years ago, this story, this operation, c-span is one of the great contributions to democracy because you have with all -- without prejudice all voices expressing themselves. it is important that we all have an opportunity to hear all of those voices. i think the heritage foundation voice is a voice to be heard. i wouldn't even argue against a slice of life television offering that one sees as long as they are proportionate.
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if you are telling the story of a population, of the american population, until the story of poverty from appellation to other kinds of poverty, tell it all. if we are talking about less present expressions from the american cultural range, let's cover the whole range from top to bottom comedies to west, north to south, let's cover everything, let's see the whole picture. that is not what is happening the way i see it particularly in the black community. that is not what is happening. i am just saying we have to have better representation in the realm in which decisions are made about what to cover and how to do it and how to apportion time and resources to each piece of that. we are not going in the right direction there, we are going
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away from that direction as far as i can see publishing, in the print industry, television, all whole thing, about some facility to get people to know what they need to know, not just in america but in the entire world, we need to know more about the world. so often we find the world knows more about us than we know about them. when i got to tanzania in 1970 i recall talking to a kid who was 14 years old, is name was godfrey and he approached me in the street and started talking to me about thomas jefferson and jeffersonian democracy and i was stunned because there were teachers i knew and americans generally you couldn't find tanzania on a matter. they know more about you than
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you know about them. that is sad. exceptionalism has cost us knowledge of much of the world. one can liken it to your years in high school when you knew the kids who finished ahead of you but you can't remember anybody in the class behind you. we happen to think people because they are for or less important, a sad state to be in. >> host: with all due respect, i think your words further in title many blacks to find excuse instead of getting to work and doing better. we all have our injustices' to overcome. you are speaking of 200 years
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ago. is >> guest: let me use human rights language. say the criteria were not just race but race, color, religion, nationality, political opinion, you take any one of those and set a we are going to select our people from this category by agenda or by religion or by nationality or by political opinion and we are going to take all those people we can find and we are going to enslave them. for 246 years, and followed that with legally enforced period of peonage in which you work for nothing which is slavery by another name and then follow
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that by legal segregation and then take away their names and then rename their group so they are no longer africans but they become some strange, august, label, negros, whatever that is, wherever that came from they will be known by that and so they lose all their tradition, all of their mores, all that the yeses and nos about what to do and how we do things, from the dawn of time and they don't know themselves anymore, doesn't make any difference whether they are black or not. cakes is full flower, do that to
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him. and see where his descendants fall after 2-1/2 centuries. it has nothing to do with any particular race. it would happen to anyone treated in that way. this is not personal. i am not saying anyone has a responsibility, any individual has any responsibility for what began to happen along time ago. i am saying our government is corporate. it is an institution. it benefited and it has a responsibility. if reparations are paid, i am a taxpayer, i would be paying.
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i am not suggesting i would get reparations. i don't need repair. i am saying those who have been crushed to earth will get some recognition of what happened and some opportunity to repair themselves. why else do we see this disproportionate success failure gap, wealth assets gap? we know that people might equally naturally endowed. that can't be the problem. how else could it have happened? 3.5 centuries of slavery and near slavery. >> you're first nonfiction book
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"defending the spirit: a black life in america" you write it is no longer fashionable to say it, i am obsessively black. race is an overarching aspect of my identity. america made me that way or more accurately white americans have made me this way. you go on to write in the autumn of my life i am regarding white people before knowing the individual with irreducible mistrust and dole dislike. >> that is right. when i was a little boy i remember at the age of 5 people started to talk about race. i thought it was absurd. i couldn't distinguish one from the other. people are people. but the wounds add up.
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as i say, they register beneath the surface and when things are forgotten in the conscious mind, in the conscious mind, they remember in other places and so this question about what i wrote then has to do with an involuntary reflex that one is a member of the group that did horrible things to me and to my mother and my father and everyone. does that mean that that is permanent status? no that that is a reflex and would be for anyone subjected to the kinds of things that we were
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and still are being subjected to. >> host: you are on with randall robinson. >> good afternoon. i am asian american living in south florida. i have been a follower of your work for quite a while. you came to graduate school and college during the south africa protests, spoke with your work and i remember you vividly, that was in 1986. three questions. my first question to you is currently, we have the first black president that is being celebrated by america and many people in our community and i s q how you feel about affect our first black president is sending american troops into 35 african countries and there is almost complete silence on the part of
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the black intelligentsia and elite in that regard and to the point where they would actually be astonished by the fact that someone with a track record and the amount of blood on our hands, african blood on our hands, susan rice would not be appointed secretary of state considering the history she has related to the african continent particularly in the condo, rwanda, and you are aware of the long, extensive, damaging history. >> host: your other questions? >> regarding he, the fact that our current relationship with haiti basically is we are outsourcing power rulership of that country to other entities.
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what do you see as a possibility in this current situation to resolve that difficulty in terms of america basically having destabilized haiti for the majority of the 20th century and what could be done, you said we should just leave it alone and i wish was that simple but i don't see that as being a reality. >> host: did you have one more? >> my last question is how can we possibly awaken not just the black underclass but the black elite and agitated who have become particulate so complicitous in the silencing of any dissent from what is happening in the world and it domestically, facing our people and the people throughout the country who are suffering hundred the policies of the current administrative regime.
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>> let me start with haiti. when i said perhaps we should leave alone, an alternative to what we have done for 200 years even frederick douglass couldn't puzzle out why we had been so hostile, the speech he gave in chicago to the world's fair in the 1890s was a speech that would be appropriate now as a matter of fact, when he was talking about the asian president, sounded as if he knew president aristide and what had the fallen him, but that is standard fare from the u.s. over the last 200 years comment and why? , what distinguishes haiti from the rest of the caribbean? in the rest of the caribbean, democratic, stable governments
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from end to end with friendships with the united states, open government where all of the freedoms are enjoyed, speech, religion and all the rest. haiti is an extraordinary place. eight million people. its arts are world-class, the best painters in the world, it's literature, haiti has everything going for it, but why has the u.s. singled out 80 for this kind of thing? i am not quite sure any of us have figured this out. perhaps it is strategic water passage that causes it to invite
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such intense interest from the united states. perhaps because haiti has gold and diamonds and perhaps oil and all of that offshore, perhaps that has something to do with it or perhaps it has to do with the anger that jefferson and george washington and so many felt, with the exception of one of the early americans, thomas paine who spoke out against what the u.s. was doing in haiti, because haiti had the temerity to strike out on its own and to stand up and remain african, he is the most african country in the caribbean. the idea of its religion is when you die you will return to
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guinea because they still remember africa, its art, inspired by african. haiti is a country of a thousand proverbs of when african proverbs have been forgotten throughout the diaspora and haiti is a country that knows its history, that invites the almost a anger of western society and particularly in france, they remember jean ja u jacques dessaline. i went to school in jamaica to speak to high school students in jamaica not far from haiti and i a;
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tiew santa lieu v.a. cure went up, and not a hand went up. i asked if they knew who snoop dogg was, and all hands shot up. they knew nothing of the story or of people who whom we owe so much. but it still seems to gall the united states and western communities. so for that reason i am suspicious of our embrace of haiti. and it bothers me, and it is extreme to say what i said. but sometimes one has to wonder if they would be better off if network left them alone -- if america left them alone. his next question was -- >> host: president obama's africa policy. pascal said that -- >> guest: i'm very concerned about that. i, i just think that when you get american military involved
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with your military, the disengagement does not come without consequences. i am -- typically these things lead to bad ends. and for the countries involved. when your country becomes of strategic usefulness to the, to the united states, you find that the management of your own democracy will be infinitely more difficult to administer. and the complicit spirit of black elites in america and how to awaken that. >> guest: oh, as i've gotten older i've become more disincliented to judge -- disinclined to judge people.
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i am -- the judging i do i try to make it of myself usually. i think most of us when we are doing things that others would feel are not the right things to do, lead to bad ends most of us do out of an absence of knowledge, consequences of what we are doing. most americans in respect of of race know very little about what goes on in countries around the world. american opposition, american aid, american involvement, and often these things, it is not a constructive relationship or not in the country's interests, but
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you don't know because you are just ill informed. there is very little in america that would afford you opportunities to be well informed. we demonize the un usually. even winston churchill at the un's beginnings said it is better than war. the un is a wonderful opportunity for the entire world to gather, disagree sometimes raucously, what is not a neat process but necessary process to resolve disputes. we ought to embrace our differences, we ought to embrace these human rights conventions.
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i am talking about all of us, of all classes, from the bottom of society and because we are the most powerful country in the world we do that. leadership should be principles and we should recognize perhaps opportunity is fleeting to save us from ourselves. we don't know the point at which we will have done so much damage to home turf that it will become unlivable. when we have overheated the environment so irreversibly that no one can live here but we can support the kyoto accord which
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may be in itself too little too late. we can't because we are exceptional and we listen to no one on any thing. it is the worst kind of devastating stupidity that one would want to see in a country we like to describe as the greatest country in world. and in a democracy we all have a responsibility, we are all democrats, we all have to make it accountable to us for what it does which means the we all have to be enlightened. we all have to know something about what it is doing and participate and i don't think we do that very well. we seem to be diverted by the most frivolous stupidities, and television has done as no
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service either. >> i think it is in "defending the spirit: a black life in america" you talk about treating people by looking at their face shapes, characters of their face, shape of their face whether it is round or angular. >> host: did i say that? i can't do that. may be -- >> host: i'm maybe making that up. on will find that. nancy in california, please go ahead. >> caller: mr. robinson, you are a marvelous, wonderful human being. i would like you to comment, i have so many things i want you to comment on, and mr. obama's
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policies, lecturing to black people about their inadequacies and support of the 1% and wall street and retroactive immunity in telecoms and i am very disheartened about this and finally the most important thing is why did mr. obama tried to strongarm the presidents of south africa to keep president aristide there. i am have a hundred points i was going to e-mail you but i can't bore mr. robinson with all my frustration but thank you again and again. >> guest: presidenthas to be applauded because he did everything to respond to president aristide's which is to go home. he and his wife mildred and their two girls had been in south africa for a long time.
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the south african government had been a wonderful host but they wanted to go home. and can't read president obama's mind. i don't know why he expended energy and resources trying to to block president aristide's homecoming. as i said, it was a violation of human rights law, and sadly so. i disagreed vigorously with the president on his role in that. >> guest: i guess it wasn't as important as i thought was. when i was a small boy in grammar class i developed the diversion of grouping people by the arrangement of their facial features, some faces were constructed of eyes, mouth,
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nose, chins, jeeps and skulls that were vowels. the smaller number of faces or only the ships, planes and angles of consonance. the vast majority of faces fell sway to nature's vast and comical disposition to mix and match, vowels were roundish shapes and consonance with straight lines that cornered, vowels were warm, consonance and cold. >> guest: that is true, i wrote that and i felt that way and i thought everyone did, that before that first impression is overturned by access and knowledge of faces that seem to deliver certain message, faces that have cackling sort of
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street geometric slashing exactness to them that give you the impression of precision and rectitude and scientific perfection and all of that and then there are round faces with soft features that are warm and fuzzy that seem to suggest something else, all of which is totally illogical and makes no sense once you get to know the person behind the face but this was a child's game to see how often i could come close to the truth in my reckonings. i don't know how well i did. using there's any chance of a science behind any of this? >> guest: have no opinion on anything except i did read it and i care about it for that
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reason. bridget post on our facebook page, i am writing this for gene adams who is 76-year-old black man who followed you end your brother's career. he would like to know where he can get a picture of you and your brother. bridget goes on to tell mr. adams's or born in louisiana race in what, still feels there is injustice in america and besides the picture bridget concludes this way, america talks about the founding fathers as if they were not slavers who also sold their black children because of the color of their skin. what country has moved on with totally quality for blacks where a man can be a man? >> guest: many countries have. one of the great conflict of living where i live is i don't feel the burden of that.
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that social mobility is quite accessible and it is a wonderful space and wonderful democracy and it shows what great qualities can come to small don know how to answer that question about america. i do think the power as frederick douglass says, concedes nothing without a demand, never has and never will. it is probably true advantage once gained expresses itself in
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an effort to maintain itself. and peoples then learn not to know each other so as to be able to dismiss steeple's sufferings that they have relegated to another place unseen to them and so perhaps that is what happens. i can't begin to guess what it is like on the other side. i used to wonder when i was a child why these people were being so cruel to us and what must they be like, i remember when i took some groceries when i was a 15-year-old grocery boy, i took some groceries to a home in net white community, a grocer had driven me in his car, and
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the family was in the kitchen and i noticed they had an oven in the wall, a brick wall and i had never seen a wall before. my family was my father was a teacher, but we had four children so we didn't have a wall. but i notice the family began to talk about intimate things right in front of me and i was insulted by it. because they spoke of these things as if i weren't there. i was invisible. what does that tell you about
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people? we still show movies in america on turner classic movies, movies in which black characters, movies from the 1930s that register fresh with the still, black characters, males always scared out of their skins, their eyes bubbled wide, whites in developing, scared of everything that the white female characters aren't afraid of. and the black women characters are always compulsorily huge, overweight. while the white characters, female characters are always
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defeat and pretty. and all of the grinning and bowling and scraping is just as offensive to me now as it was when i was a little boy but they still show it. >> host: should not be on tv? >> host: it should not be on tv. it was humiliating then, it is humiliating now, but it makes money. >> host: laura tweets in george bush started the aids program in africa, the one good thing he did foreign policywise.
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>> guest: i suppose i would concede that. i don't know what else to say about president bush. , i don't think he was concerned substantively about a great deal of things, certainly not about black issues, and so i am at a loss for words to comment beyond about george bush. >> host: rodney in baltimore, go ahead with your question or comment for randall robinson. >> caller: hal r. you? a pleasure and honor to speak with you. meanwhile calling about blackwell's disparities, the american banking system where we got most of our wealth in the housing sector and lower wages in employment. under the obama administration,
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if african-americans are doing worse under his administration more than the previous four administrations? >> guest: unemployment among blacks is 16%. whites are doing marginally better, blacks are doing significantly worse. the question is how much of that do we ascribe to the president? of course there are other market forces and factors, i suppose, but i think that is the good question to put to the president. i should say at the same time nobody wants more than i do to see president obama succeed. it is very important to the
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black community that he have a successful presidency and i think to some extent that is wide blacks have not been disposed to be harshly critical of him because of things we think he should have done but has not done. i think the political space he operates in is a very small on these kinds of issues. and i don't know if he is willing to push out that space to do more things but it is a question he would have to answer but objectively i don't think there's any question that if one uses employment as the measure
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blacks have done worse than virtually every other community since the beginning of his presidency. >> host: alfred in alabama. >> caller: how are you? >> guest: fine with our you? >> caller: a couple questions and comments. where is the longitudinal latitude? >> you know where san juan, pr, is? about 300 miles due east. >> which cruise line would you recommend? >> guest: i don't know much about that. >> host: you don't much recommend tourism. >> pick one, it will be there.
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>> second question, this is fact checking. did you go to school with patricia evans and marvin kerri? >> guest: i don't think so. >> caller: point armstrong high school? of course, moses knoll, i knew well. he is a good friend of my sister jules so yes. i knew him but the others i am not so sure. remember i left high school over 50 years ago. >> guest: where did that question come from? >> caller: i'm married to one of his schoolmates and he had a sister named theresa. >> guest: is that right? >> caller: yes. a comment, i will let somebody else come on but i highly
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recommend you introduce yourself to cyberworld and i'm going on your web site and following your books and using them in my class. >> guest: i am first to tell you i need help. >> guest: >> caller: i will. >> caller: alfred. >> host: speaking of your web site, bridget had asked for the gentleman who wanted a picture of you and your brother. is there a contact, a way of contacting you on your web site? >> guest: the picture was taken by ebony magazine along time ago in studio in chicago. they did several pictures of us. i don't have a copy of one of them but they still have them in their files and explored through
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ebony magazine. >> guest: defending the spirit august 1982. the family is worried about mack. he has become rich and famous and not happy. he is a journalist but he reads the news and is not pleased with it. >> guest: he wanted to more than that. wanted cover conventions. you wanted to comment, he wanted to interpret the news and he was being asked to accept the role of reading copy. he wasn't happy with that. >> guest: when did he die? >> guest: about 20 years now. he died when he was 49. >> host: of age?
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>> guest: yes. >> host: you write about where aids originated. what your thoughts? >> guest: it is terrifyingly prevalent in poor communities globally and is now a real terrifying force in women's at situations to women's health and a big factor in prison life and certain states not allowing, last, looks, condom use for prisoners in prison because they don't want to come to terms with
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incidents of sex in prison and to bringing aids home to their wife's, that sort of thing, these are big issues that trouble us. aids is less talked about now than it used to be but there's still no cure. one could take a cocktail of madison's and control it if you don't have a full-blown disease but it is a big problem in poor communities and a big problem in poor countries and in an effort as well of course. >> host: this is in depth on the tv on c-span2 with randall robinson. >> caller: good afternoon. i am doing real good, i tell
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you, it has been a very lightning couple of hours i got to tell you, appreciate it. also i want to point out of brilliant response you gave to the gentleman who made the comment about the still whining, a couple hundred years ago. i hope you understand how ill informed the nature of his question is now. kind in to the reparation issue, i wanted to get your take on what has happened in the last 10 or 12 years under the auspices of foreclosure, congressional oversight panel in october of 2010 and at that point they had done the analysis of the impact the foreclosure which we consider home seth has had on
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the black and hispanic community and at that point determined it cost the black and hispanics $360 billion in wealth which probably now three years later close to 400. it seems like not only is reparations something that is very difficult to get put on the table but at the very same time $400 billion being stripped in wealth to black and hispanic communities seems like the prospect of quite a few years and of those other cities that burned down in the 20s. i wanted to get your take on that. >> guest: that has been devastating. when you look at this the family at a time and what a means to
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families's financing. when one puts virtually everything one has into a home thinking that is the safest place one can put it and then to lose everything like that, i can't agree with you more that we ought to be reassured that . but it doesn't seem to be on the horizon, and i'm every bit as concerned about it as you are. >> host: this e-mail -- this is from diane in brooklyn, mr. robinson, we have about ten minutes left in the program. excuse me, mr. robinson, you seem like a brilliant, thoughtful, committed and well-intentioned man. i've heard many things listening to you that i did not know and wish had been more publicized. i am shik to your cause -- sympathetic to your cause, but i
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have a problem. my question is this: how can you expect to ever produce a generation of black youth psychologically capable of overcoming the terrible wound inflicted upon your people when you keep picking off the scab, when you keep passing on to your children the victim mentality to which i am sad to see you still maintain allegiance? >> guest: well, i don't know what to say. i don't think i can satisfactorily answer that question for that person. um, and i don't try to answer that question, frankly. i think those who have endured and those who have been wounded and those who were in trouble know what i'm saying. and they understand it.
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um, so i won't even try to answer that question. >> host: diane in brooklyn has a second question for you. if i were going to read one of your books, which one should it be? >> guest: oh, i don't know what to tell diane in brooklyn. she doesn't, um, seem to have an open mind. i would guess i'd ask her to read "the debt," and perhaps after she's read it she might be thoughtful about these things. or at least she can understand how we, of course, convey from one generation to the next the
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disabilities sustained. everything we do we come by from our parents for good or ill, and when our parents are question for that person. when our parents are crippled, so is the child. hurt people, hurt people. when you have space to love, when you are hole enough you always begin by loving yourself. to love yourself you have to know your story. when i was little boy and hadn't heard of timbuktu and then
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discovered significance and the significance of africa and its antiquity, that all of's bonds came from egypt and all of egypt's came from ethiopia before the dawn of time,'s science and math, its literature, so much borrow from ancient egypt. when i was a child i needed to know these things just as whites need to know about ancient rome, ancient greece or ancient anything, what people who look like them accomplished in antiquity. if they need that, so the lie.
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i don't need to know what their people did, i need to know the story of my people. >> guest: go ahead with your question or comment. >> i appreciate all the work you have done against apartheid and what not. has the berkeley imam and not just a fan befriend of danny schechter, i would like to know about how you feel and music played in apartheid and what you think about the current endeavour 315.org is embarking upon by calling for investments from oil companies for investment portfolios.
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>> guest: i haven't seen danny in several years now. when i was in law school at harvard and we had taken over the president's office at harvard for a week, it was a good friend who vacated his office and 30 of us stay in the administration building protesting harvard's holding of gulf wheelchair's and its portfolio because of what it was doing to assist portugal in its war ismaking against angola and mozambique, efforts to win independence from portugal and danny was a real stump speaker on these issues at the time, i think this investment is always the good tool to use in trying
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to to win social goals. i don't think the south africans were able to understand anything that we were saying as long as we were saying something was done just or wrong but when they saw it affecting their bottom line and we were able to get past punishing sanctions, then we knew the beginning of the end was at hand so i always think economic strategies are good to employ. at the time we were being told all the time what we were suggesting wouldn't work, the assistant secretary of state for africa was saying constructive engagement was the best way to go forward, to simply talk to the south africans about being
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nicer and we said that hasn't worked. you have tried it for a very long time. the moment the sanctions were passed, the moment the bottom line was affected if, south africa began fifth to become a new nation as a new society. i think that can happen on so many matters you are trying to change. >> host: why did you not accept the honorary degree from georgetown university that you were offered? >> guest: i got there that day, george, what is his name, george tenet, i opened the paper that morning and found out i had come all the way from polk caribbean to accept it. i was deeply honored. a black member of georgetown
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administration worked so hard to make this possible and i was profoundly honored and i got up that night and opened the paper to see georgetown was to be honored. he was of course instrumental in making this illegal and immoral war in iraq of blitzkrieg, bombing of iraq, thinking about innocent civilians beneath all of those bombs that list of the night that the war, the u.s. against iraq was opened, and justification, state of lies before the united nations to make this possible with the fig leaf of security council cover,
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was outrageous and despicable on my part and he was at the center of it and i just thought that the value of the honorary degree from georgetown had been lost for me. and so i came up the next morning to meet with the georgetown people to tell them that i couldn't accept this. and when home. >> host: kathleen in melville, new york. we have a couple minutes left. >> a great pleasure to speak with you. it has been a deeply moving and inspiring time listening to you and i am sure for most if not all of the audience, thank you.
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okay. my question, my husband and i own property, and i was wondering if you would, and the little bit on the political situation, you know about the international monetary fund and many of the things going on there. i would appreciate hearing from you and -- >> i hope so. we met all of the international monetary fund requirements, the governing labor party has reduced the debt of the country almost by half over the last few years. our democracy is an energetic one, people say many things in
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the public square as the parties with each other, it is healthy and open and it is free and i have really enjoyed the great privilege of living there given to me by my dear loving wife hazel to be a participant in the process of her wonderful country. >> host: we have a minute left. cadged in indiana, the african heads of state at the met in the last 20 years, post cold war, post 1990s leaders, which ones impress you the most? which ones have disappointed? >> guest: it is been politics to answer that question because i am not in politics. i don't have anything to lose
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and i have always felt somehow i ought to be held bends to say exactly what i think but i will not say things when people have accorded me an opportunity to meet with them, i will not say things that will be offensive to those people later on, i have had my feelings hurt before and i know what it feels like and i don't think that is useful. >> host: we will close the program from "quitting america: the departure of a black man from his native land" robinson writes i tried to love america, its surplus importance that i could not love things, no one in good health can. a imagine material wealth for people. and the dominant majority,
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depiction of me, treatment of mine, tried to love america but america would not love the ancient african home of me. i could not loved america. i have come to know too much of her work. i tried to love america, its credos and ideals and promise and process but these things could mean no more to me than to those who conceived them, written them, recited them. and i had not despaired the moment. and it settled upon me like an ancient ancestors ceremonial robe, in as oldest time, mislaid, valued all the more for its belated retrieval. randall robinson, thank you for being done in depth. >> guest: thank you for having me. >> you're watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs we
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